What is the biggest mistake my copywriting clients make?
Asking for their content to be “just like their industry norm.”
No, no, no, no, no.
The whole point of your website (brochure, or whatever other piece of marketing collateral you’re working on) is to make you stand out as being different from your competitors.
I think, deep down, they all know that. However, the proof comes when they see my first draft. Are they brave enough to take a leap of faith and publish a site that doesn’t the say the same thing, in the same way, as every other company in their space?
Sadly, the answer to that question is generally no.
By sticking with what’s gone before, the company becomes another weak voice in a cacophony of uninspiring marketing drivel.
As a business it’s good to be the stripy elephant in the room.
How are you going to be different?
Trust your copywriter
I know it’s not easy to place your faith in a copywriter when they come along and tell you that you have to be different, and that the best way to do that is through what you say and how you say it.
Not every company has a totally unique offering, which means to make an impact I have to get creative.
Form the outset I talk to my client about my vision for how we can present the content in a way that will get it noticed.
I advise them to adopt an informal/humorous/cheeky style that will engage the reader. Obviously, this style comes in varying degrees of informality and can be tailored to every industry (yes, even yours).
Why do I suggest this?
Because it gives the company a personality, and shows the audience the company is made up of real people who want to help.
That’s generally where the problems start and the buy-in stops.
It’s when they see it in writing, in my first draft, that their feet start getting chilly. I often get the “I see where you’re going with it, but that won’t work in our industry” response.
Apparently, their customers expect a certain style and approach. It’s not ‘corporate’ enough etc.
But that was the whole point.
To illustrate, let’s look a rather dry industry – disaster recovery solutions.
After extensive research of the industry, my suspicions are confirmed. Every company has the same boring, dry, and tedious approach. Even the images are similar.
Finally, one stands out. From the outset the website states, with a bold statement, why I need a disaster recovery solution. The rest of the pages use vibrant images and the content leaps from the pages because it’s so different.
It uses humour and a lighter tone to enhance rather than dilute the message. Yes, it has personality. This approach has the effect of reassuring me that these people know what they’re doing. To me, they are showing they have the balls to be different and are therefore a company I’d want to do business with.
Become that stripy elephant
Don’t be fooled by your competitors who don’t have your imagination and bravery (or me as their copywriter). There is no written rule that says you have to present yourself the way everyone else does in your industry.
It’s time to make a stand and be different. Take a leap of faith and give your customers something different for them to get their teeth into.
It’s boring being normal, and your company isn’t dull, so take a stand, and show your individuality.
Sally Ormond isn’t a dull or predictable copywriter so let her help lift your company from the mire of